It’s February fashion month again, so whoop dee doo da to seeing mostly slim white women slinking down runways. In the spirit of the occasion, Balmain’s creative director Olivier Rousteing gave some tips on how to exist like a Balmain Girl to The Style Report in case you’ve ever wondered how you, too, could join the #BalmainArmy (anyone? anyone at all?).
No, having some sort of affiliation with Kris Jenner isn’t a requirement. Rousteing’s tips included helpful tidbits like “have a personality” (We’ll work on it), “Wear a jacket” (What if it’s hot out?), and “Don’t be scared of color” (Sorry, bye). But there was one little blurb in there about “embracing individuality” that stood out to us. He said, “My Balmain girls are really different – you have Binx [Walton], you have Jourdan Dunn, you have Rosie Huntington-Whiteley, you have Kendall [Jenner], Gigi [Hadid], you have Alessandra Ambrosio. They are all different. They can be mums, they can be super young, they can be older, they all have different shapes. I love showing different ethnicities – for me this is very important.” Hmm.
We love that Rousteing is committed to casting models of different ethnicities and doesn’t rely on robbing the cradle to find women worthy of the Balmain label (unless it’s for his cool new children’s line). Runways are still overwhelmingly white, and Balmain consistently makes diversity a priority, and that definitely deserves two thumbs up. But let’s backtrack to that little thing about shapes.
What about showing women of sizes other than “supermodel”? Sure, the women he lists are all unique little snowflakes and all that jazz, but let’s be clear: they’re still all slim. If Rousteing thinks throwing Gigi Hadid, who is ‘curvier’ by supermodel standards but still a sample size, a bone is enough to say his Balmain army accounts for different shapes of women, then he’s a bit misinformed.
With this current sampling of showstoppers and the fact that Balmain sizes only run up to a U.S. size 12, there’s nothing that indicates that curvier women are invited to set the world on fire as a Balmain Army squad member. If Rousteing really wanted to embrace individuality with his army, he’d start churning out Balmain threads to fit curvier women who rarely get runway representation.
Nice try with this one, Rousteing, but we’re not buying what you’re selling (because we can’t fit into it).